The Eichhorn Stained Glass Building located at 810 & 812 East Broadway near Shelby Street has hit the market and could potentially spark an East Broadway renaissance. The three-story building covers 18,600 square feet and was built in the 1860s. The property is listed at just under $600,000. The structure originally housed a dry goods store and today is the home of Eichhorn Stained Glass and Lightspeed Photography. The building has a dominant presence on East Broadway and features a Mansard Roof and intricate details. Broken Sidewalk went inside to check out the guts of the building and discovered this is a redevelopment project waiting to happen.
What’s most remarkable about this East Broadway building are the ceiling heights. All three floors and the basement are super-sized. The ground floor of the building currently has 14 foot ceilings, but those are drop ceilings put in place in the 1920s or 1930s. The original ceiling could be pushing 20 feet. The second floor has similar ceiling heights with potentially huge over-sized windows. The current windows on the first two floors are smaller than the original window openings, and the third floor is boarded up. As we rode the freight elevator to the top level, the ceilings somehow became even taller. The third floor space is undivided and features massive old-growth timber beams and rafters and could easily be a two-story space. If windows were replaced in the mansard roof, the space would have been flooded with light.
We climbed up to the roof while we were visiting to check out the view. A tornado that came through the area just over a year ago had ripped off a portion of the roof and a new quarter million dollar roof has been installed. This building is the tallest in the immediate area (not counting church steeples), and the view of downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods is inspiring. Peter Eichhorn remembers watching the Pegasus Parade roll down Broadway from the rooftop, probably the best view there is for the parade. The roof sloped gently, but we were imagining a roof-deck to watch the sun set over the Louisville skyline.
Back inside, we made our way to the back of the building currently used as an art-glass studio. An interior courtyard once probably used as stables has at some point acquired a roof, but could easily be opened up again. Finally, in the basement, we found massive stone arches nearly two feet thick. The basement contains an additional 4,500 square feet, bringing the total in the structure to over 23,000 square feet. Eichhorn always considered this basement space, with its tall ceilings, stone arches and walls, and old-growth rafters, an excellent potential Rathskeller.
The building covers its entire site from sidewalk to alley, providing a very dense example of urban built form, but leaving no room for parking. Engineers, however, have studied the idea of parking in the basement via a ramp or courtyard area for potential residential redevelopment. Given its central location adjacent to Downtown, the Medical District, the East Village, Phoenix Hill, and the Highlands, however, it is certainly feasible that a resident wouldn’t need a car at all to get around.
Considering the great shape the building is in structurally and the stewardship it has received while in the hands of the Eichhorn Stained Glass Company, it’s amazing this building hasn’t already been redeveloped. The East Broadway corridor is a bridge connecting several thriving yet disparate neighborhoods, from the East Market Corridor to the Highlands. With the great stock of architecture in the area such as this building, redevelopment of this part of town could lead to a seamless transition from downtown to Bardstown Road. There’s already activity in the area, too. The Shelby Street Apartments are directly across the street are under construction, the Tonini building is set to be renovated, and several new retail outlets including a home store, custom furniture store, clock store, antique mall, and a music venue have all opened recently in the area. This building could be the centerpiece of the East Broadway revitalization puzzle.
- Eichhorn Stained Glass Company (Official Site)
- Lightspeed Photography (Official Site)
- Official Property Listing (LoopNet)